Four smaller tables form a large cocktail table in this stylish beach house living room. The chocolate-and-white woven damask fabric contrasts with the upscale wicker club chairs. Orange-striped draperies hung on bamboo poles give the room a splash of color, as do the canvas throw pillows and hand-blown glass table lamps.
As food sources become scarce, rabbits, mice and voles can make quick work of bark on unprotected trees and shrubs. Use tree guards around young tree trunks, and surround shrubs with hardware mesh. You can also try to attract raptors like owls and hawks, which prey on these mammals, by erecting artificial perch poles.
Designer Robin Baron gave this elegant country kitchen the perfect finishing touch with an ornate scalloped valance above the sink. “I always say ‘great design is in the details’ and this beautiful valance is a perfect example,” says Baron. “I used the detail of iron hooks to create the dramatic pleating in lieu of a traditional pole and embellished the classic linen floral fabric with tassel trim, and matching tape, giving weight and importance to this country inspired valance.”
Fall lettuce crops can linger well into December in mild winter areas. Plant cold-tolerant varieties to ensure the longest harvest period. Good choices for fall planting include ‘Four Seasons’ lettuce (shown), ‘Arctic King’ and ‘North Pole.’ To overwinter lettuce in regions with cold winters, plant ‘Winter Marvel’ or ‘Brune d’Hiver.’ In mild winter areas, sow seeds of ‘Four Seasons’ or any oakleaf type.
Though it would make for an ideal tiny home, this Container Guest House in a San Antonio, Texas backyard functions as the perfect accommodation for visitors. As is the norm with container homes, environmentally friendly practices were top-of-mind, explaining why Poteet Architects kept its original blue color, along with the exterior text. There are plenty of other green features as well. The addition of a floor-to-ceiling window adds natural light, while sliding doors provide plenty of fresh air. The roof garden is watered by grey water (runoff water from the sink and shower). The bathroom contains a composting toilet, and recycled soda bottles are part of the deck’s building materials. If that’s not enough, the exterior light fixtures are local tractor blades, and the foundation consists of — you’d never guess — recycled telephone poles.
For pruning branches over ¾ inches thick, you’re going to need a pair of loppers. These cutting tools come in handy for pruning shrubs, trees, roses, tall perennials with woody stems and even full-size sunflowers. If you’re investing in loppers, select bypass cutting blades (not anvil), and multiply your cutting strength up to three times with Fiskars PowerGear brand. The gears in this cutting design let you cut through branches far beyond your natural strength. Look for loppers with extendable handles to increase your reach. Loppers will handle most cutting jobs, but at some point you may need to expand your tool base to include a pruning saw and, for out-of-reach limbs, a pole saw.